MARIA STEIN – Seven residents of Rest Haven Nursing Home in Greenville were among the approximately 350 guests who saw a preview of the Maria Stein Country Fest’s main entertainment on Thursday.
Guests from nursing homes and other similar organizations visited the grounds of the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics on Thursday for a free lunch and to watch the Country Fest’s Tractor Square Dancers plus the Nerveless Nocks, a thrill and stunt group that rode motorcycles in the Globe of Death.
“We come every year,” Rest Haven Activities Director Gina Trobridge said. “Residents look forward to this every single year. It’s one of the highlights of the summer.”
The residents of Rest Haven all were accompanied by a staff member or volunteer. The Tractor Square Dancers – who dressed in a “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” theme – were a big hit for the guests from Greenville.
“They just love the shows, and the tractors are one of the main things they enjoy watching, the square dancing,” Trobridge said. “We’re from a farming community so most of our residents in Greenville are from farming communities.”
Being able to enjoy the outdoors also is a big thrill for some of the residents.
“One of our residents, Bobby, he said, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’m eating underneath a tent today.’ I got the biggest kick,” Trobridge said.
Rest Haven takes its residents on outings at least a couple times a week, Trobridge, to events like the Country Fest or scenic drives.
“We try to hit all the local events and everything, too, and this is one of ones that’s kind of starts it off, starts off all the summer events,” she said. “After this is the Farm Power of the Past, and there’s the Darke County Fair, and there’s the Annie Oakley parade. So this is like the tip-off of our season.”
Rest Haven has attended the County Fest’s preview day every year it’s been hosted, Trobridge said.
“They are so friendly,” she said. “They help us with moving them in here so we’re appreciative of the staff and all the help that we get, too. They just embrace everybody. It’s wonderful how they embrace the community.”
The Country Fest runs Friday through Sunday on the grounds of the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein. For more information about the festival, visit www.mscountryfest.com.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4312. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.